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escaped the taper without singeing thy wings, you are not contented with the safe obscurity of these wilds, but must hasten back to the flame, which is sure at length to consume thee. Why should I waste arguments in deterring thee from thy inevitable fate?-Go where thy destiny calls thee.”
On the succeeding day, which was the eve of the great festival, Mordaunt set forth on his road to Burgh-Westra, pondering alternately on the injunctions of Norna -- on the ominous words of his father-on the inauspicious auguries of Swertha and the Ranzelar of Jarlshof and not without experiencing that gloom with which so many concurring circumstances of ill omen combined to oppress his mind.
“ It bodes me but a cold reception at BurghWestra,” said he ; " but my stay shall be the shorter. I will but find out whether they have been deceived by this sea-faring stranger, or whether they have acted out of pure caprice of temper, and love of change of company. If the first be the case, I will vindicate my
character, and let Captain Cleveland look to him
self;-if the latter, why then, goodnight to Burgh-Westra and all its inmates.”
As he mentally meditated this last alternative, hurt pride, and a return of fondness for those to whom he supposed he was bidding farewell for ever, brought a tear into his eye, which he dashed off hastily and indignantly, as, mending his pace, he continued on his journey.
The weather being now serene and undisturbed, Mordaunt made his way with an ease that formed a striking contrast to the difficulties which he had encountered when he last travelled the same route; yet there was a less pleasing subject for comparison, within his own mind.
My breast,” he said to himself," was then against the wind, but my heart within was serene and happy. I would I had now the same careless feelings, were they to be bought by battling with the severest storm that ever blew across these lonely hills.”
With such thoughts, he arrived about noon at Harfra, the habitation, as the reader may remember, of the ingenious Mr Yellowley. Our traveller had, upon the present occasion, taken care to be quite independent of the niggardly hospitality of this mansion, which was
now become infamous on that account through the whole island, by bringing with him, in his small knapsack, such provisions as might have sufficed for a longer journey. In courtesy, however, or rather, perhaps, to get rid of hụs own disquieting thoughts, Mordaunt did not fail to call at the mansion, which he found in singular commotion. Triptolemus himself, invested with a pair of large jack-boots, went clattering up and down stairs, screaming out questions to his sister and his serving-woman Tronda, who replied with shriller and more complicated screeches. At length, Mrs Baby herself made her appearance, with her venerable person invested in what was then called a Joseph, an ample garment, which had once been green, but now, betwixt stains and patches, had become like the vesture of the patriarch whose name it bore-a garment of divers colours. A steeple-crowned hat, the purchase of some long past moment, in which
vanity had got the better of avarice, with a feather which had stood as much wind and rain as if it had been part of a sea-mew's wing, made up her equipment, save that in her hand she held a silver-mounted whip of antique fashion. This attire, as well as an air of deTermined bustle in the gait and appearance of Mrs Barbara Yellowley, seemed to bespeak that she was prepared to take a journey, and cared not, as the saying goes, who knew that such was her determination.
She was the first that observed Mordaunt on his arrival, and she greeted him with a degree of mingled emotion. “ Be good to us!" she exclaimed, “ if here is not the canty callant that wears yon thing about his neck, and that snapped up our goose as light as if it had been a sandie-lavrock!" The admiration of the gold chain, which had formerly made so deep an impression on her mind, was marked in the first part of her speech, the recollection of the untimely fate of the smoked goose was commemorated in the second clause. “ I will lay the burthen of my life," she instantly added, “ that he is ganging our gate.”
“ I am bound for Burgh-Westra, Mrs Yellowley,” said Mordaunt.
“ And blithe will we be of your company,” she added — " it's early day to eat; but if you liked a barley scone and a drink of bland — natheless, it is ill travelling on a full stomach, besides quelling your appetite for the feast that is biding you this day; for all sort of prodigality there will doubtless be."
Mordaunt produced his own stores, and, explaining that he did not love to be burthensome to them on this second occasion, invited them to partake of the provisions he had to offer. Poor Triptolemus, who seldom saw half so good a dinner as his guest's luncheon, threw himself upon the good cheer, like Sancho on the scum of Camacho's kettle, and even the lady herself could not resist the temptation, though she gave way to it with more moderation, and with something like a sense of shame. “ She had let the fire out," she said, “ for it was a pity wasting fuel in so cold a country, and so she had not thought of getting any thing ready, as they were to set out so soon;